Reuters - Thu, 11 Mar 07:43:00 2010
Patrick Sharp scored a game-winning wrister at 2:08 in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
With the game locked at 2-2, Chicago center Dave Bolland intercepted a stray pass from Brad Richardson and put Sharp through to beat goalie Jonathan Quick to claim the win.
"I saw the bouncing puck there and the LA players flooded the zone," Sharp said of the winning goal.
"I felt if we could force a turnover, I'd get a chance to sneak in. (Bolland) made a great play (on the interception and assist)."
The Central Division leaders started brightly with Sharp opening the scoring at 2:34 in the first period before the Kings took a 2-1 lead on second-period goals from Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, his 31st of the year.
Kris Versteeg tied the game at 8:25 in the second period for the Blackhawks before Sharp struck the winning goal as the Blackhawks won for the third time in four games.
Andrew Ladd, coming off his first hat-trick on Sunday, added an assist in the triumph.
The win meant Chicago opened up a commanding 16-point lead over the Nashville Predators in the standings as they move closer to their first division title since the 1992-93 campaign.
The Kings, for whom Quick made 40 saves, lost for the third time in four years and are fifth in the Western Conference standings.
"We'll take it," said Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "We want two (points), but at this point in the year, you take whatever you can get.
"I thought we battled hard. One mistake and it's in our net, but mistakes happen in the game. If we don't make that mistake, maybe we go to a shootout and win, but we battled hard. It just didn't go our way."